I have been wading through this fall season with hesitancy and hope together, stuck in memories and dreams that have either ended or paused. I am missing a part of my heart each time my eyes scan the changing landscape of the brilliant orange, red, and yellow leaves waving to me in passing, while at the same time encouraged by the closeness of the Savior of my soul.
Autumn is one of my favorite seasons for many reasons. The vivid display of color draws out such an appreciation of beauty. However, it is the memories that have always accompanied this season which play on the strings of my heart.
It is apple orchard’s cinnamon sweetness drifting into my senses, first my nose and then my mouth. Donuts, Cider, Apples…. My mouth waters just thinking of it. And still it is effort in this time of picking apples, canning applesauce, and baking the tart fruit into sweet blessings.
It is the promise of abundance with the harvest, the joy in the reward for the previous diligence . Yet the harvest is work, sometimes herculean in measure. There is unity in this type of gathering, a purposed blending together that binds hands and hearts in thanksgiving.
It is the diversity of temperatures, warm in the day and cool in the evening, giving us still more time to enjoy the beauty of living here in the temperate Midwest before winter’s solitary freeze sets in. The pausing to snuggle under the quilts equates with the loss of sunlight as the days get shorter with each turn of the earth’s axis.
It is field trips and last minute drives, watching through the periscope of time these vivid changes occurring almost right before our eyes, enjoying one more reminder of God’s faithfulness. And even though it is revealing this law of nature, entropy in motion… the changing and disintegrating of the season… it is beautiful. It captures my attention, gratefully mesmerized by the simply real.
I remember the laughter of my grandmother as she retells a story of childhood, and I miss her still a little more. She loved the fall… she taught me to fall in love with this abundant season. And I wonder, when will the raw emotion wane in our missing those we love so dear? So far, time has not worn away the ache for her presence in my heart, and this is the barb of my wandering this fall. I miss the heart that taught me the joy of appreciating the simple, but I am grateful for the power of a memory to fill my existence with the echo of her voice.
And I consider the reason for the rain in the harvest and how it can effect our moments of feeling joy. Sometimes I can lose sight of that when I look to the emotion rather than the source of joy, or perhaps the purpose for the rainfall.
The garment we wear in the changing of life edges us nearer to grace and changes our vision for an eternal purpose.
This same emotion that holds us back from experiencing joy wears a garment that similar, it is deceitful as we wear it. It has a name that we sometimes confess as a state of being rather than a description of feeling, discouragement. It traps us in the burden of missing the blessing. It is heavy, brittle, and confining.
But let me remind you of something important, we are never meant to clothe ourselves with it. We are called to rejoice in our trials, to embrace the moments of suffering, not as a badge of honor, but as a sign of His grace in our lives.
Enjoying the simple, reveling in the joy of abundance, embracing the work of the harvest and finding contentment in the memories held dear… they all point to a living grace that we can wear close.
Grace is our covering that helps us to see the purpose of the rain in the harvest, because sometimes we need to stop to see the beauty that is right before us.
Today, in the midst of the cascading leaves and wilting plants in my garden, there is a rain falling quietly, almost effortlessly, outside my windows. It reminds me of the rest we are given in the harvest. Sometimes because I am solely focused on the task at hand I silently grumble at the rain, but rain is meant to give life. Spiritually it is meant to cleanse us and fill us, a preparing for the tomorrows to come.
I remember Psalm 103:1-5 with our harvest rest stop. I am challenged to examine the depth of His Word and the promise the washing exemplifies. It is meant to bring overcoming power, this falling rain, though we miss it when we look at in the midst of our schedules. Walk with me, friends, as we ponder the promise of His graces in our days. The gift of the eternal in the mist of the daily searching, seeking Him first as a filter, and finding the Holy filling us for our moments is enough to get us through both the effort and the resting that are equally a component of reaping the harvest.
Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:
Who forgives all your iniquities; who heals all of your diseases;
Who redeems your life from destruction;
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies;
Who satisfies your mouth with good things:
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
Sometimes it is easy to get swept away with our ‘to-do’ list and compartmentalize all we need to accomplish. Especially during the season of harvest.
- We are focused.
- We don’t have time to stop and deal with distractions.
- We don’t have time to pause, praise, remember, and rehearse the wonder of His name.
Yet, that is exactly what the rain affords during our harvest season… a quick break, a passing pause, a tender reminder to reflect and to rest in His mercies and give thanks. It is a call to the prayer bench of our hearts, a bending low, and a recollection of where we have come from; rejoicing in the good and the bad times because God is GOOD all the time.
A Challenge to Pause in the Rain:
Today I am seeking to press pause on the moment of time that is passing too quickly. I long to rehearse His wonder, replay His blessings, remember His promise, and reflect on His goodness. And I long to remember that when it rains in my harvest, or those times when I feel like there is an interruption to my planning, that I will exist in this blessing of rest He has provided.
Will you join me? As we bend hearts and bind hands we can change the lives around us, more importantly, we are changed by grace’s touch and love’s entrance to our earnest and diligent hearts. As the harvest season fills our calendars, let’s remember to speak blessings and pour out praise for what God has done.
Remember the blessings and rehearse them in prayer every day, especially when He sends us rain.
Do you need to find some rest saturated by the rain of heaven, today?
Can I challenge you to stop & bless the Lord with me?
Praying for the moments to remember, to lift hands in worship, and to bend low to revere His blessings this harvest season.
Reminder: Today is the last day to sign up for the drawing for Jen and Craig’s book: Pure Eyes Clean Heart. I will be drawing the winner tomorrow and announcing later this week. Look here for the details of the contest. You can find them on the following websites: www.solideogloriasisterhood.com or www.pureeyescleanheart.com
What’s coming:This week: I will be sharing more about my heart and this Table of Grace thing that is building within. Check back later this week. You can always sign up to receive the posts by email, or like Journeys in Grace on FB to get updates from the blog. Next week: I will be sharing a book review for Jennifer Dukes Lee’s Book: Love Idol. I have been so blessed by her words. You can learn more about her and this necessary gift to our hearts @ www.jenniferdukeslee.com
The Heart of a Woman Bible Study: This will be available for complete download this soon. If you had a chance to follow along with some of the study this summer but missed a few days, then you may appreciate the whole study in one place to go through at your own leisure. For now it is located in the Downloads section above.
Linking up with friends in the journey today:
SDG Gathering, MADM Challenge, Soul Survival, Unite, Playdates with God, Scripture and a Snapshot, #TellHisStory, Coffee for Your Heart, Word Filled Wednesday, Winsome Wednesdays, What you Wish Wednesdays, Wednesday Prayer Girls